Developmental Biology and Genetics - Course Description

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This block considers the concept of an organism from several perspectives.  Beginning with experimental embryology and Spemann’s Nobel Prize winning experiments, we go on to consider cell-division and cell-differentiation as these appear “in vitro,” within a healthy organism, and in cancer cells.   Thereafter we focus on the development of genetics from Mendel through to the discovery of the “double helix” and the recognition of the central role that DNA and RNA play in protein synthesis.  We conclude with reflections on the human genome project in light of recent discoveries in the area of epigenetics.

Faculty:                     Michael Holdrege, High School Sciences Teacher
Class Dates:           January 6-January 24, 2014
Curriculum Area:   Morning Lesson Block

Welcome to the Chicago Waldorf School classrooms!
This course description page introduces an area of the website that is a communications and resource bulletin for the faculty to share details about their classes and special subjects. This message board is a resource for the teacher to post information and impressions about the progress of the class and the students' activities. Ranging from a broad analysis of the learning goals of the year, to the specifics of a deadline for a homework assignment, you will find information about the activities of this class in these periodically updated posts


Key Words for Block Books 

5 Jan.  "Little Miss T." verse.  The mystery: from egg to organism (growth, differentiation, morphogenesis). 
Aristotle--epigenesis; Epicurus--preformation. 17th century--preformation; animalculists & ovists.

6 Jan.  Early development of the Lancelet zygote. Vertical and horizontal cell divisions that double the number of  blastomeres.  Animal pole, vegetal pole, Morula, Blastula, Gastrula, Neurula. (Drawings with descriptions)

7 Jan.  Schematic Amphioxus (Lancelet) body plan. Three germ layers.  Parthenogenesis. Mosaic- and regulation egg theories.  Spemann Experiments I. - III.

8 Jan. Prospective Outcome. Prospective Potential.  Spemann IV.-VIa..  “The Organizer”.

9 Jan. Experiments VI. b, c, d.  Schotte experiments with frogs and salamaners.  Mitosis: first phases.

12 Jan. Mitosis continued.  Diagram of cell using an electron microscope.

13 Jan. Mitosis handouts. Weiss text re. cell and factory.  ATP-ADP Cycle. Cell Differentiation diagram (relate to Prospective Potential & Pr. Outcome; relate to humans and animals). Stem cells

14 Jan.  Salamander arm regeneration (+ drawings).  Dictation.

15 Jan.  Tissue cultures “in vitro” and tissue “in vivo”.  The importance of cell death (apoptosis) (w. drawings).  Compare tissues “in vitro” & “in vivo”.

16 Jan.  Cancer cells (+ drawing) and how they no longer follow the body plan.  Benign & maligant tumors.  Metastasis and Anaplasia cells.Describe what the school building would be like if it were composed of living tissues (cells).

20 Jan. Gregor Mendel: biographic sketch.  His experiments with P, F1 & F2 (w. sketches).  Dominant & Recessive. Phenotype & Genotype. Heterozygous & Homozygous.  Three aspects of his approach that were new in biology.

21 Jan. Mendel discovered, His research is linked to chromosomes and meiosis. Genes postulated like “pearls on a string.”  T.H. Morgan and Drosophila.  Linkage groups, crossing over (genetic recombination)

26 Jan. Chromosome maps. But: polygenic inheritance/blending (many genes influence one trait), pleiotropy (one gene effects many traits) (with sketches). Biochemistry enters the search. Buchner, the significance of enzymes as biocatalysts.

27 Jan. Protein or nucleic acid?  Hershey & Chase: Bacteriophages.  Watson and Crick:  DNA and the discovery of the double helix (w. drawings).

28 Jan.  DNA/RNA: Protein Synthesis (handout). Human Genome Project (2 handouts)

29 Jan. Talbott article on the Double Helix